Chronic Illness  
 February 4, 2016

A Menu of Love


A menu of love, Play chef for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is all about showing a friend or that special someone just how much you love him or her. This year, bless their hearts and their taste buds by giving them the gift of a healthy, delicious dish.
And yes, my Salmon Skewers of Love recipe is perfect even for those who have little experience cooking. Let me share with you some tips and techniques to help you exercise your culinary muscles healthfully and with flair!

Here’s the thing: it’s all about the love. What better way to express that love to your sweetie than to prepare a meal that is not only delicious but also is extremely healthy?

Yep, I said it. The easiest way to stay healthy this Valentine’s Day is by staying put in your own kitchen, where you have control over the quality of the ingredients. The salmon in my recipe is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, and the fruits and vegetables pack lots of antioxidants. Now that’s the real food of love!

Part of why I always have loved salmon — the main attraction in this dish — is because preparing it is so simple. But simplicity isn’t all it’s about. This dish is full of flavor, too. The extra virgin olive oil, garlic and lemon give it a clean, fresh taste. And the brightly colored vegetables add texture and flavor that’s delicious with fish! Portobello mushrooms add a steak-like element your sweetie won’t want to miss.

To take advantage of the full health benefits of salmon, you’ll want your fish to be fresh. When choosing salmon, look for these three signs of quality:

  1. The freshest salmon filet will be firm to the touch.
  2. The flesh will be a nice light red (containing high amounts of health- enhancing Omega-3 oils).
  3. The fish won’t smell “fishy.” A light, mild scent is what you should seek. Your fishmonger at the market will be happy to cut your salmon into 1-inch

cubes, the perfect size for our recipe. It has been said that the way to

the heart is through the stomach. This is almost always true, so why not try being a chef for your sweetheart this year?

Here’s one last hint: True love would be doing the dishes, too! Are you feeling the love already?

Check out Chef Robert Lewis’ Web site, You’ll find more amazing recipes.

Chef Robert’s Salmon Skewers of Love

Makes 4 servings


  • 2 medium-size fresh salmon filets
  • 2 Tbsp fresh garlic
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 large Portobello mushroom
  • 4 bamboo skewers


  • Skin the salmon and cut it into 1-inch pieces, if your fishmonger hasn’t already done the job for you.
  • Mix garlic, oil, basil and lemon juice in a bowl. Combine with salmon and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Place the skewers in cold water for 10 minutes before building them. (This will keep them from burning.)
  • Cut the veggies into 1-inch pieces.
  • Alternate the peppers, onions, mushrooms and salmon on skewers.
  • Place them in a hot oven at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

Nutrition facts (per serving): calories 154, fat 7 g, protein 21 g, carbohydrates 16 g, fiber 8 g, sugars 5

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Chef Robert Lewis of Bettendorf, Iowa, a professional chef since 1976, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1998. Also known as ‘The Happy Diabetic,’ he brings encouragement and good eating to audiences around the country, creating five- star recipes that are delicious and healthy for all — including those living with diabetes.